Vegetarian & Vegan Japanese Gastronomy: My Best 10 dishes (and extras!) in Shizuoka City in 2012!

Roasted organic vegetables plate at Le Comptoir de Bio-s, all vegetables grown by Bio Farm Matsuki in Fujinomiya City!

Shizuoka Prefecture is a haven for vegetarians and vegans, and I will never tire to repeat it!
Although I’m neither, I do appreciate the needs and priorities of my friends who take the time to visit our region.
The reasons why Shizuoka is blessed land for my friends is 1) that the climate allows for vegetable culture all year round, 2) Shizuoka Prefecture has always been a research center for agriculture resulting in the greatest number of vegetables (and fruit) varieties in a single Prefecture in Japan, 3) that it is also the most active Prefecture when it comes to organic agriculture.

All the photos represented in this article were all taken in restaurants in Shizuoka City (except for the last two!), demonstrating that with a little research you can find restaurants catering to your priorities and pleasure!

The title mentions the number “10” for appeal, but I included more to convince you!

Cold corn soup (Vichyssoise) at Aquavite Italian Restaurant!
The corn was grown in the mountains of Ikawa in Shizuoka City.
It includes only a little salt, olive oil and water used to boil the corn!

Vegetable appetizer at Yasaitei Izakaya!
It includes shiso/perilla leaf, finely sliced myoga ginger and fresh ginger, sweet hijiki seaweed, sesame seeds and a simple dressing based on olive oil and amazu sweet vinegar!

Vegan sushi at Sushi Ko Restaurant!
Menegi/leek sprouts nigiri.
The one on the left is not vegan/vegetarian as it includes katsuo bushi but the latter can be easily not included for a real vegan/vegetarian sushi.
Secured with a thin band of dry seaweeed/nori and topped with umeboshi/pickled salty Japanese plums!

Another vegan sushi at Sushi Ko Sushi Restaurant: Manganji chili pepper nigiri!
Manganji chili pepper is a long soft green variety of chili pepper.
The one at the left is topped with yuzu kosho, the other one with umeboshi/pickled salty Japanese plums!

Boiled jumbo peanuts at Taihei Izakaya!
These jumbo peanuts are at least three times the size of “normal” ones and are grown only In Shizuoka and Gunma Prefectures (until now!) and incidentally are eaten boiled only in these two Prefectures! A must-try!
These were grown in Fuji City.
Some organic varieties have also appeared on the Shizuoka tables!

Waga-style cucumber salad at Waga Izakaya!
Waga uses thin and crunchy Japanese cucumbers sprinkled with crushed peanuts and served with sweet miso dressing!

Daikon Katsu at Waga izakaya!
The picture above is not vegetarian/vegan but here is the vegan version:
Simmer a small daikon (peel it first but simmer it whole!) in vegan dashi, soy sauce and a little sake until it has got soft and beautifully colored.
Drain and cool down completely.
Wipe water/humidity off the surface.
Roll it plenty of cornstarch dissolved in a little lukewarm water.
Roll it in vegan breadcrumbs to cover it completely.
Deep-fry to a nice brown color.
Leave it for a couple of minutes over some kitchen paper to soak off excess oil.
Cut it as shown in picture above and season it with a vegan dressing!

Potatoes are staple food for vegans and vegetarians!
Here are a few examples!
The above is Yutoo Style fried potatoes at Yutoo Izakaya!
The potatoes are organically grown at Bio Farm Matsuki in Fujinomiya City!

Roasted potato gnocchi at Le Comptoir de Bio-s!
Note that the gnocchi contain only potato, flour and salt!
Made with potatoes organically grown by Bio Farm Matsuki in Fujinomiya City!

Belgian Fries at Caravin French Restaurant!
Note that potatoes were first fried in Belgium! French fries are a historical mistake!
The fries are served with mustard (not ketchup nor mayonnaise!) and fine premium chili pepper!

Uzu-style fried potatoes at Uzu Izakaya!
Note that potatoes are not all white!
Potatoes organically grown at Bio Farm Matsuki in Fujinomiya City!

Greens and mushroom salad at Le Comptoir de Bio-s!
The mushrooms are organically grown in Fuji City at Hasegawa Farm while the other vegetables are grown organically at Bio Farm Matsuki in Fujinomiya City!

Simmered tougan/winter melon at Kagatsu Japanese Restaurant in Fujinomiya City!
The vegan version would be to simmer in vegan dashi! Served with fresh organic okra!

Vegan yuzu jelly cake at Myouken Sushi Restaurant in Gotemba City!
The jelly was made with local agar agar and yuzu!
A dessert fit for any vegetarian/vegan repast!

RECOMMENDED RELATED WEBSITES

Kraemer’s Culinary blog by Frank Kraemer in New York,Tokyo Food File by Robbie Swinnerton, Green Tea Club by Satoshi Nihonyanagi in Shizuoka!, Mind Some by Tina in Taiwan, Le Manger by Camille Oger (French), The Indian Tourist, Masala Herb by Helene Dsouza in Goa, India, Mummy I Can Cook! by Shu Han in London, Pierre.Cuisine, Francescannotwrite, My White Kitchen, Foodhoe, Chucks Eats, Things that Fizz & Stuff, Five Euro Food by Charles,Red Shallot Kitchen by Priscilla,With a Glass, Nami | Just One Cookbook, Peach Farm Studio, Clumsyfingers by Xethia, PepperBento,Adventures in Bento Making, American Bent, Beanbento, Bento No, Bento Wo Tsukurimashou, Cooking Cute, Eula, Hapabento , Happy Bento, Jacki’s Bento Blog, Kitchen Cow, Leggo My Obento, Le Petit Journal Bento & CO (French), Lunch In A Box,
Susan at Arkonlite, Vegan Lunch Box; Tokyo Tom Baker, Daily Food Porn/Osaka, Only Nature Food Porn, Happy Little Bento, The Herbed Kitchen, J-Mama’s Kitchen, Cook, Eat, Play, Repeat, Bento Lunch Blog (German), Adventures In Bento, Anna The Red’s Bento Factory, Cooking Cute, Timeless Gourmet, Bento Bug, Ideal Meal, Bentosaurus, Mr. Foodie (London/UK), Ohayo Bento,

Must-see tasting websites:

-Sake: Tokyo Through The Drinking Glass, Tokyo Foodcast, Urban Sake, Sake World
-Wine: Palate To Pen, Warren Bobrow, Cellar Tours, Ancient Fire Wines Blog
-Beer: Good Beer & Country Boys, Another Pint, Please!, Beering In Good Mind: All about Craft Beer in kanzai by Nevitt Reagan!
-Japanese Pottery to enjoy your favourite drinks: Yellin Yakimono Gallery

Non gastronomy must-see sites by Shizuoka Residents

HIGHOCTANE/HAIOKU by Nick Itoh in Shizuoka City

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